A LANDLORD is seeking a tenant to keep a 300-year-old pub open.

The Grey Bull, on Main Street, has long been a mainstay in Wark, but rising costs and the impact of Covid has made trade difficult for the small pub.

Now, owner Alex Haley is looking to save it from closure.

Alex and her dad closed sister pub The Black Bull, also a hotel and restaurant, in January 2021 due to planning upset and problems caused by the pandemic.

The current Grey Bull tenant is to step down in July to pursue other commitments. Alex and her dad are also no longer able to run it; he has now retired and she has just had a baby.

"Our preference would always be to have a tenant who wants to come in, give it ago and keep it open for the village", said Alex, who also owns The Shop in the village. "If it's someone local, even better. 

"We are really flexible; we're open to anyone who has got a bit of drive. We will support you in anyway we can as landlords. 

"When we shut the Black, the whole intention was hopefully, the business would then go back into the Grey. There's some absolutely fantastic locals who go in there religiously and support the business and they're the people we want to keep it open for because what happens if it closes? You want your own local pub.

"There's regulars that are there come rain or shine, it's a cracking atmosphere but we need more of that for it to work. Coming down and having one pint will make a difference."


Alex said that after Covid, more people had got used to drinking at home and that with rising costs, people were more willing to spend £10 on a crate of beer rather than two pints in a pub. She also feared people don't see hospitality as a safe employer anymore.

She added: "It's going to be a real miss it if goes.

"We're absolutely gutted and we'd love to find someone in the next six weeks to give it a go. You don't buy a business to close it."

Alex would also be open to the idea of a community-owned pub if there was sufficient interest or full ownership.